NASA earthbound solar radiation

A very small instrument has a big job ahead of it: measuring all Earth-directed energy coming from the sun and helping scientists 

About the size of a shoebox or gaming console, the Compact Total Irradiance Monitor (CTIM) 

the smallest satellite ever dispatched to observe the sum of all solar energy Earth receives from the sun—also known as "total solar irradiance."

Total solar irradiance is a major component of the Earth radiation budget, which tracks the balance between incoming and outgoing solar energy. 

Increased amounts of greenhouse gases emitted from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, trap increased amounts of solar energy within Earth's atmosphere.

That increased energy raises global temperatures and changes Earth's climate, which in turn drives things like rising sea levels and severe weather.

By far the dominant energy input to Earth's climate comes from the sun," said Dave Harber,

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